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Insights: Ginni Rometty's Top 3 Tips for Growing a Company

October 07, 2014 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated May 01, 2020 20:03 PM UTC

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty shares her top advice for leading and growing a company. (October 2014)

[MUSIC PLAYING] I think, for me, what transformation's about because I-- before talked about this idea that growth and comfort don't co-exist. And I talked about it when I was here last time. I said I think it's true for people, for companies, for nations. But what does that mean? So what do you do? So sort of the three things that I feel that I learned over the long run here. The first one was never protect the past. And if you never protect the past, I think, one of the things you'll say to yourself, you'll be willing to never love something so much you won't let it go either. So that would be my first one. My second one is never define yourself as a product. And in fact, I would augment it, I often say, never define yourself by your competition either. It's good that you're not defining yourself as a product at IBM because you would be well split personality. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Thousands and thousands of products. It's honestly driven more by-- if you live and define yourself by a product or your competition, you lose sight of who your customer is. And you lose sight of what you do is-- I always say, we don't exist without them. So that is why you define yourself not by a product or by what you offer. And then, my third one is about this idea, always, no matter what it is, it is this relentless reinvention of whatever it is that you do. This relentless reinvention. And I can remember one of the things in one of my conversations Warren had said to me. And I think it's a good question to ask yourself for any business. When you make your decisions, always people say, would I make the same decision? Because if you're a relentless reinvention, you kind of have a mindset of being a steward for the long term. And you'll say to yourself, you know, would I make the same decision if I was a private company or a public company? I think is a good question to always ask yourself when you make big decisions.